Kabul, Afghanistan (June 15, 2010) â Today, Wise Strategic Communication, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), released preliminary findings from a survey on the viewership of Tolo televisionâs âOn the Roadâ (or Hai Maidan, Tai Maidan) program, saying more than 35 percent of the Afghanistan population tunes into the program every Saturday night.
Wise conducted the survey during April within nine selected provinces, polling more than 2,000 participants, undertook 45 key informant interviews and conducted nine focus groups to assess the opinions and impact of the show with the Afghan viewers.
âOn the Roadâ, which is funded through USAID, builds Afghansâ national pride as a diverse, but unified, nation. Each week, the program focuses on a different region or province. The host, Mujeeb Arez, explores the social, cultural and historical aspects of different provinces, tasting local food, playing local games, and visiting the local historical sites. The TV program offers real Afghan stories from many locations around the country including numerous examples of successful development projects by the Afghan government in partnership with the international community. Through Mujeebâs interviews with farmers, doctors, workers, youth and community leaders, Afghans see the changes within their country and the impact recent development efforts have had in Afghansâ own, unscripted words.
Some of the key findings from the survey include:
â¢The viewership was well-balanced, the polling data also indicated that Hazaras, Tajiks, younger respondents and the more educated were slightly more likely to watch the program.
â¢The program was received extremely well, with the respondents being enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of different parts of Afghanistan. Fully, 97 percent of viewers wanted to continue watching the show and the top recommendation was to lengthen each broadcast.
â¢Of note was a finding that viewers associated this program with nation building.
Through the focus groups that Wise Communication conducted, a particular emphasis was placed upon the national unity âOn the Roadâ promotes week after week. Some of the responses included:
â¢âIt plays a positive role in the Afghan unity. When Afghans see other people in provinces with the same religion, and they get informed about their traditions and way of life, they see there are no differences between them.â
â¢âThe positive point that I would like to mention is that people observe the customs of people from other provinces and it helps to reduce the problems with racism.â
âThe survey that Wise Communication conducted indicates and validates the whole purpose of why this show has seen success,â said USAID Mission Director William M. Frej. âThe program is bringing the people of Afghanistan together past political and social lines to embrace the many cultures and diversity that the country has to offer. We are a proud sponsor of this program, and we hope that this show will continue for many years to come.â
Part of the MOBY Group, TOLO aims to create innovative programming which appeals, informs and entertains Afghans. âThe most exciting aspect to emerge from the success of âOn the Roadâ is that as a first of its kind for this format of programming in Afghanistan, is has enabled everyday Afghans to better get to know each other,â said Saad Mohseni, MOBY Group Chairman. âAbove all, weâve only looked at a small snapshot of the country, and there is so much more to see,â Mr Mohseni added.
The full study report may be downloaded from: www.irp-af.com
June 7, 2014